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Exacter Mobile Technology Stops Insulator Flashover
by Staff Writers
Columbus OH (SPX) Mar 09, 2011

File image.

Exacter has enhanced their EXACTER Outage-Avoidance System technology to identify and locate an impending insulator flashover on overhead lines. "Before a flashover causes a circuit outage, an insulator will begin to emit specific RF signatures, either from cracks, tracking, leakage, or from a process known as scintillation. In this process, small areas of the insulator surface begin to arc. The process results in degraded surface bands. As the degraded bands increase, an insulator flashover occurs," explained John Lauletta, CEO of Exacter.

The Exacter System operates from moving vehicles and "listens" for specific Failure Signature emissions that are the telltale precursor to a flashover. After confirming the pre-flashover signature, the system uses GPS technology as part of a process for locating the insulator.

"It's a complex process made simple with EXACTER," continued Lauletta. "Since 2007, we've developed an extensive library of emission-failure signatures derived from surveying more than 2 million structures. Our latest signature identifies insulator pre-flashover conditions."

"Our field inspections reveal that many insulators that have flashed-over show no visual indications," states Exacter Vice President, Geoffrey Bibo, "and the pre-flashover condition does not emit heat - meaning they are invisible to both visual and infrared inspection methods. EXACTER presents utilities with an effective means to identify these previously invisible outage sources that cause fuse, recloser, and circuit breaker operations. With our ability to survey thousands of miles in a matter of weeks, utilities in 5 countries use this as a uniquely powerful reliability and asset management tool."

Exacter's sensor technology has surveyed over two million utility poles helping utilities improve reliability and harden distribution grids. Exacter's findings have formed a unique body of knowledge in the utility industry regarding the nature and cause of outages, as well as the failure signature of overhead components.

The EXACTER Failure Signature Library, coupled with its field intelligence on outage cause, is one of the industry's latest resources for predictive, conditions-based assessments of the grid.

"With pinpoint accuracy, Exacter identifies and locates damaged devices like failed surge arresters and other weakened components for pre-failure replacement. Replacing weakened equipment hardens the grid and improves overall system performance," continues Bibo. "It is technology that makes conditions-based predictive maintenance a reality."

Exacter, Inc. provides grid assessment and conditions-based system intelligence to electric utilities and industrial companies, worldwide.


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